Metalcore innovators Converge shred micro-set for Chaos in Tejas
By Richard Whittaker, 12:30PM, Thu. Jun. 9, 2011
Metalcore fans had a choice at last weekend's Chaos in Tejas: Everyone could get to see a little bit of Converge, or a few people could see a lot. What they got was all the Salem, Mass., mayhem they could take, crammed into a half-hour flurry of gut-punch classics.
They had a little detour on their way from St. Louis: Bassist Nate Newton had been stuck in an Oklahoma hospital overnight, and the band had slept in the parking lot. After the quartet screamed down the highways, making it to Red River just before the outdoor curfew kicked in, there was talk of moving the set inside. Mercifully, sensible heads prevailed. So rather than attempt the "ten gallon bucket into a pint glass" impossibility of shoving the whole packed back deck into the bar, it was a shorter set than the hour listed: Shorter, but no less intense.
Chief screamer Jacob Bannon seemed to get the pressure. "We've only got thirty minutes, so let's just fucking crank it out," he growled, pacing the stage. Kurt Ballou warmed up some of metal's fastest fingers with licks from "Am I Evil?" and "Iron Man," before Newton's rumbling bass set the breakneck pace on "Runaway," from a new split 7-inch with Drop Dead. Three blitzkrieg assaults later, Bannon's black tee was shredded as stage divers took flight from the middle deck and the circle pit grew jagged edges.
Bannon warned that "Reap What You Sow" was about "leaving your mark in this world," and the discordant thrash did just that. "Cutter" lived up to its name, a ripsaw hardcore explosion, before the double-headed beast of "First Light/Last Light" soared then roared. They did not just unleash enough fury for the whole hour: They crammed in a tour's worth.